Help a new knitter (who doesn't know WHAT she's doing...)

[B][FONT=“Comic Sans MS”][COLOR=“RoyalBlue”]Hello fellow knitters !! :waving:

My name is Donna, and I am a newbie knitter !! :knitting: Or, at least, I am [I]trying[/I] to learn to knit. :wink:

I really don’t know what I’m doing…I think I have all the WRONG equipment for a newbie to start…I’ve got size 10 Circular needles and sueded yarn, as I am trying to make a simple scarf. I’ve tried using the videos, but I can’t seem to get the casting stitch right, so I’m truly frustrated at this point :wall:

Any help or suggestions would be really appreciated :frog:

Thanks, [/COLOR]

[COLOR=“DarkOrchid”]Donna in NJ[/COLOR][/FONT][/B]

I think it might be easier if you could just practice casting on and the knit and purl stitch for a bit before attempting a project. I personally would find it easier to cast on using straight needles, but then that’s how I taught myself from pictures in how to knit books. I find that easier than videos personally, but I’m getting close to old fogey age.
I might consider buying some cheap acrylic and straight needles in about the same size you are using for the scarf and just practice casting on and basic stitches. That way ripping it out and redoing it won’t mess up your sueded yarn. If you have a friend who knits or a local yarn store maybe they could help.

Two suggestions:

Watch the video while holding the yarn and needles in your hands and doing exactly as she does (are you using the video from this site? It was the only thing that got me going!)


Go to your local yarn store and ask them to show you how. Or if they have a class to get you started. If they won’t help you (of if you don’t have a local yarn store, or if they don’t offer classes) check at a community center, community college or various churches to see if they have some kind of knitting club or classes available.

I couldn’t learn casting on from books, but I found the videos here to be extremely helpful!

Good luck! It’s only frustrating in the beginning!

Welcome, Donna!

Since a scarf doesn’t have to fit, the size of needles and yarn isn’t that important. However, it’s generally good to have needles that will work comfortably with the yarn. Did you check on the yarn label to see what size is recommended?

As for casting on- have you tried different methods? Different ones are easier for different people to start with, and for a scarf, it doesn’t really matter too much which one you choose. Just get started, and it will get easier the more you practice. If you tell me what cast on you’re trying, I might be able to help you more.

Welcome to the board! :slight_smile:


Everyone has their own particular tools and yarn that they like the best and find the easiest to work with. I find that sueded yarn doesn’t lie smoothly on the needles, and probably wouldn’t choose it for a first project. I’d go with a wool/acrylic blend yarn (such as Lion Brand Wool Ease) to start. I’d also start with straight needles (the 7-inch ones) since I find that they’re easier to get my hands around than the shorter sticks of circular needles. You don’t HAVE to change what you have and the materials you have should work perfectly well, but you might think about it.

If you’re having trouble with the videos here, you have some other options. (1) try pictures in a book. Sometimes I find that watching someone else’s hands move is helpful, and other times it just confuses me and still pictures works better. (2) Find someone in real life who can help you out. Check for knitting classes at JoAnn’s or Michael’s or a yarn/knitting store. Sometimes that can help, too.

Good luck! It will all come together.

When knitting a first scarf…it’s terribly important to know that you do NOT want to knit it in stockinette stitch. That is where you knit one row purl the next, knit row, purl row…etc.

I didn’t know this for my first scarf and it curled horribly! Instead of a pretty, soft blue scarf, my mother received a tube. You should probably knit the whole thing…no purl stitches. This is called garter stitch.

First of all, ditch the sueded yarn! I’m so serious. I’ve been knitting for about a year, and my dd wanted to learn. She was given a “beginner” kit with a bag pattern in sueded yarn. I started working with it to show her, and got so frustrated I was ready to throw it out the window. I found it not to move on the needles well, and it got twisty.

Definitely get some basic yarn, and don’t worry so much about doing a scarf or an actual project till you have a bit of practice under your belt. I used a whole skein, just knitting basically a rectangle in garter stitch (plain knit stitch) till I was comfortable with my tension and with keeping the same number of stitches on each row. Once I did that, I felt much more ready to conquer an actual project (which, incidentally, was a booga bag that my knitting group was doing, rather than the traditional scarf.) At any rate, in the first few months, I spent a huge amount time here, watching the videos and working along with them.

You can do it! And we are all willing to help answer questions. I have found this to be a wonderfully helpful group of people!

Your needles are fine, the suede yarn has given even experienced knitters lots of problems. So set that aside for later and get something else to practice on and actually make your first project with. Just make a sampler - CO and knit for a few inches, then add a row of purl stitches and alternate knit a row, purl a row for some inches. Then you could practice increases and decreases, then finally ribbing - knit 3 sts, purl 3 sts for several rows, go to k2 sts, purl 2 sts for a while, then do k1, p1. That should keep you busy for a while. :wink: And welcome!

I am also a newbie as of christmas!

I’m fairly new to knitting too, welcome! I would definitely suggest trying another yarn, the thicker the better. And just play those videos over and over, and try to follow them. I have learned so much from the videos here. :woot:

Seek in person help! Casting on is NOT hard once you get the hang of it, but it really is best to have someone show you how and watch you do it so they can give you pointers. And sueded yarn on bamboo needles (I’ assuming they are bamboo) is not a good choice. When starting, you might want to get aluminum needles (I prefer short ones) and yarn just slides so easily to and fro! Hang in there!

I consider myself a ‘newbie’ also, even though I did knit quite a lot but many years ago, and I find both the videos on this and other sites too very helpful, along with photos and/or illustrations in several books I have recently purchased. I learned how to do the ‘long-tail’ cast on by watching, over and over, the video here after having only done the knit on type cast on. I find the long-tail much better, by the way, after I got the ‘hang’ of it, that is. I have personally learned so much from all the wonderful replies here, along with the printed instructions and videos, such as a one-row buttonhole. Yipee! I think I’ve mastered that one with repeated viewings and printing out the instructions to have at hand. Please, don’t give up. I did not and am so happy to be back ‘at’ it once more. Good luck.

My mom’s best friend has been knitting for 40+ years and has made all kinds of fancy things. She tried Lion Suede last year and gave up on it. I think she gave the yarn away. If it is Berroco Suede, you might be in better shape but I still wouldn’t want to learn on it.

Learning to knit is a little like learning to drive a stick-shift. It can be tricky at first, but once you get the feel of it, you can’t believe you ever didn’t get it. And, if you try to learn on a car with a tricky clutch, you will get very frustrated because the car will be giving you all the wrong signals. The suede yarn is the same way. Once you get the feel for how knitting is supposed to feel, you can move back to the suede.

I learned on Lion Brand Wool Ease, which I recommend for learning. But almost any basic yarn, Red Heart, Red Heart Soft, Caron Simply Soft, will be better than the suede yarn.

I will say that knitting with a tricky yarn early on can help in some ways. I remember that a few days after I learned to knit, I tried to knit a little with Pattons Allure, which is the eyelash yarn from hell (very pretty for a novelty yarn, but IMPOSSIBLE to see you stitches). That brief experience helped me understand how to read my knitting. Or rather, it helped me understand that I had been “reading” the wool ease, but was not really able to read the allure.

Anyway, don’t blame yourself. Get a regular 'ole yarn and spend a few days with that before moving back to the suede.

This may help you see the process of casting on
(I just love the animated drawings)
If the long URL does not work,

Karen G

Hi Donna, I am fairly new to knitting myself. The first thing I knitted was a baby blanket for my dog, didnt go by and pattern just did garter stitch for the whole thing… I found it a lot easier after doing that to learn purl ect. Good Luck!! :slight_smile:

[B][FONT=“Comic Sans MS”][COLOR=“RoyalBlue”]Thanks for the suggestions. I went yesterday to AC Moore, and got new needles (size 8 aluminum) and two skeins of Red Heart yarn. I also bought a set of acrylic needles, that were on sale. They range in size from 8,9,10 and 10.5, so I am hoping that should tide me over until I can move on to the “advanced” stuff. All I need now is a good instructional book, and I’ll be set :knitting: [/COLOR][/FONT][/B]

Glad to hear you got some aluminum needles. I might also suggest that you take a look at the video here on the Knitting Help site. I haven’t ever seen the one on casting on, but it’s probably good. You might also want to get a good basic book on knitting. One that discusses weight of yarns which is very important, needles, tools and good illustrations. The Stitch and Bitch book is pretty good and entertaining. Others may have their favorites to suggest. I used to live in your part of the country, Delaware to be exact. Sure do miss some of the aspects of living there.

[B][FONT=“Comic Sans MS”][COLOR=“RoyalBlue”]Wow, who knew that some better needles and new yarn could make a difference !! :thumbsup: With the help of the videos here on the site, and everyone’s suggestions, I appear to have MASTERED the double cast on stitch :woot: :yay:

Now, what do I do?? The continental knit stitch just isn’t “clicking” with me. I just cannot seem to grasp the instruction from the video. Maybe I need a book instead? I’m also gonna go on a knitting road trip tomorrow and try to find a local shop I found online. Maybe they can help me get started. If not, I will take my stuff with me when I go back to work next week. We’ve got a knitting group going at work, and there are several people there who can help me figure out where to go next.

Thanks for all the encouragement :grphug: [/COLOR][/FONT][/B]

I’m glad things are going better now. congratulations on taking your first steps into the knitting world. if continental doesn’t work for you there is always english style - i found english easier to learn but that is because i had been taught it many years ago and just forgotten how to do it so it was more natural to me.

I also like the Stitch 'n Bitch book, its got some good pictures and instructions in it as well as some nice patterns.

Good luck!

I am new to knitting as well…since the winter break began! I am totally hooked!:muah:
I have watched these videos over and over and found them to be very helpful! I did end up going to a local yarn store here to get physical help since I was still having some trouble! I learned that I was using a difficult yarn and doing my stitches backwards! :woot: But they set me straight and now I am a knitting fool! Keep coming back here for help and watching the videos! I suggest you find someone who knows how to knit and get some live help as well! Good luck!

OTN : Scarf for Mags!
ITW: Scarf for Sparky! Hat for Bub! (ALthough I have no idea how I will learn to do this one!)